The 10% Solution


Tighter writing guide

I have been using this slim book as an editing tool for several years. By using a global word search on a couple dozen words, and reducing their occurrence in your writing, you can shorten the length of a piece of writing by 10% (or more). I’ve used it and it works extremely well. This is a tool useful to both professional and novice writers.

I have copied the list of words into a text file, which I printed out in a long, thin column and taped to the side of my monitor. Whenever I finish a story, I run the searches and tighten up the text. It helps you find and eliminate passive voice, evasive, wishy-washy prose, and general wordiness.

Like a thesaurus, it must be used with care and attention to the overall impact on your writing. That said, I highly recommend The 10% Solution as a quick and dirty editing tool to help you “write tight”.

-- Amy Thomson 12/10/10